I have thoroughly enjoyed Kito Diaries from the very day it popped into existence in the blogosphere. I bless the gods, whoever they are and where ever they are, for allowing their muse to endow Pink Panther with an amazing creativity. And to all the brothers, thank you all for making the Kito Diaries idea worthwhile.
Since the inception of this blog, we have heard so much and learned so much about the struggles and the pains of a homosexual person living in Nigeria. Sometimes I feel helpless in the face of so much suffering. I have tried once or twice to reach out to persons who I felt needed friendship or support, but I realize that it simply will not do. I think if we are really serious about helping each other, we need to do something more formal that will actually help those among us who suffer the most.
There are many among us who are HIV positive and who do not have any one to talk to. Some are depressed and suicidal and don’t have someone to lean on an hour of crisis. It is for this reason I suggest that we form support groups here on Kito Diaries.
For now, I have two in mind. One would be for people who are HIV positive and another for people who are on the brink of suicide.
AT THIS POINT, I WOULD LIKE TO BE VERY CLEAR ON SOME ISSUES READERS ARE LIKELY TO WONDER ABOUT.
- This is not an opportunity to stigmatize the suffering or gloat about the misfortune of others. Members of the support group must be persons who are kind hearted and passionate about lending a helping hand to a brother in need.
- Every communication in these groups must be done with the highest standards of confidentiality. The counselors on such groups must have it hammered into their heads that they must under no circumstances reveal any information that they have access to as a result of their position.
- I think these groups should be organized in such a way that the identity of the person seeking help or support will remain UNKNOWN…unless such a person decides to reveal his identity to the support person. That would be his or her choice and the risks of doing so, IF ANY, would be borne by him or her.
- The support group for HIV should be made up of medically qualified persons. They would also perform these roles ANONYMOUSLY. They would offer free medical advice to anyone who needs it.
- Contact with the support persons would be by EMAIL ONLY. Decision to use other forms of contact e.g. chat media or phone calls could be initiated if necessary. Face-to-face meetings would BE HIGHLY DISCOURAGED unless it is an EMERGENCY or a matter of LIFE AND DEATH. Romantic liaisons between counselors and people asking for support would also be prohibited.
- Inappropriate behaviour by any counselor would lead to him or her being immediately removed from the support team.
- Persons who have had the particular experience that a particular group is about and have managed to pull through are favoured to become support persons in such groups. E.g. persons currently living with HIV who have somehow found balance and happiness in their lives or people who have battled with and overcome suicidality.
- Support persons would not be allowed to impose their religious views on persons needing help. UNLESS he or she has clearly established the religious affiliation or inclination of the person seeking help and such a person is eager to receive help that is based on religious beliefs.
- Each person who indicates a need for support would be assigned at least two counselors to make sure he or she always has access to help. If the two assigned counselors are not available or are not doing their jobs satisfactorily, there is room for re-assignment.
- The support provided is strictly through written and verbal media and is STRICTLY COMMUNICATIVE in nature.
Okay, that’s it. What do you guys think?
Suggested by Sensei